Please give feedback on your PERSONAL experience with BARNAUL .223 ammunition

I have not had any problems with this ammunition

I have had minor problems with this ammunition

I have had major problems with this ammunition

(195)  86.3%

(23)  10.2%

(8)  3.5%
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Total Votes: 226
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Posted: 3/26/2010 11:56:26 AM EDT
This ammunition review is for Barnaul manufactured ammunition, which includes BROWN Bear, and BLUE box "Monarch". As of 2009, the Monarch boxes have apparently been RED in color. Please note that "Monarch" is made for Academy stores by Barnaul AND Prvi Partizan. The Barnaul variant is 55gr FMJ, green "lacquer" coated in blue boxes - NOT the green boxed ammo made by Prvi.

Since the previous poll about Barnaul has been archived, I have started a new thread to collect more information as this ammunition is still for sale, and questions come up at least once a week in the ammo forum. The previous results were:

587 TOTAL votes
479 Have Not had any problems at all
74 Had some problems, but would continue to use the ammunition
34 Have had major problems, and would not use the ammunition again.


I will add the totals and generate a correct count for the ranking in the Ammunition review thread

Please add your personal experience to this thread. When you do, please give information about:
1) Firearm used in
2) Approximate number of rounds fired.
3) Ammunition type

I am trying to solicit only information about your PERSONAL experience with this ammunition. If you haven't used it, then please don't clutter up the thread. Information about proper functioning (or lack thereof) is obviously the most important, but factors such as the accuracy or other peculiarities you've noticed are informative also. If you have had problems with this ammo which were severe enough to cause you to stop using this ammo, then please describe them. And one more minor request: keep your reviews objective.
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Posted: 3/26/2010 11:59:22 AM EDT
Somehow or another, the poll disappeared from the last thread. I'm deleting the old thread and creating this one instead.

Summary of content from archived post:

1K of the 62 and 500 55 FMJ's in a 20 inch 1:7 Colt HBAR. No failures of any kind. Accuracy only fair with the 62's working better in my rifle. Dirty, but not enough to cause any problems in 2-400 round range sessions.

500 rounds of their 62-gr. BTHP load through an Olympic 14.5" CAR97M4 w/ SS barrel. No functioning problems. Accuracy was about 3"@100-meters, rested. Edited to say that this ammo wasn't as dirty as the PMC that I've tried.

500+ rounds thru my RA M-96. No problems with sticking, failure to extract, failure to eject, torn rims or the like. Of course my RA M-96 shoots everything without complaint. Not real tacking driving ammo, but OK. Here's the way I rate it: Better than Wolf About the same as S&B Almost equal to SA Not even in the same league as IMI, Fed 193, X193 or Win Q3131A Is it good enough for casual plinking? You bet. Do you want to use it at the range to show off your new Bushie to your buds? I doubt it, there's always the confusion of is it the ammo or is it the rifle. Would I bet my life on it? NO WAY, stick with the good stuff.

I would echo the last guy exactly. Better than Wolf. Not as good as SA. Not in the same world as XM193. I can't get it to group better than 2" at 100 meters out of my Oly PCR 1. Not great, but not as bad as Wolf. I can't get the Wolf to group in the same State. Value is the relationship between quality and price. This ammo is a good value for average ammo at a great price. When I find it below $50/500, I stock up.

My only experiance with burnaul was with the 62grHP. And I'm not happy with it. I've shot 1k rounds of the stuff from an olympic PCR1 with a bushie 14.5in/ y-comp M4 profile 1/9 (marked match) barrel. It's the only Russian ammo I've tried that I've had problems with. Though the problems may be mag related. It won't feed reliably from orilite mags. And it actually wouldn't feed from a colt mag either. Though that one has to be the mag as it would not feed them in a friends gun out of that mag either. He also was having problems with the ammo feeding from his orilites. I'll try their 62gr FMJ before i decide to not use this stuff anymore, as I've had not one problem from the wolf 62gr FMJ. Other than that no other problems.

62 gr Barnaul. Underpwered and inconsistent as usual. Does not hold back bolt in any of my ARs. Very occasional short stroke in one of them. Have reserved it for the Mini-14 where it performs flawlessly for plinking.

well my vmatch seems to like this quite well not that I am a great shooter or anything but grouping around 5 inch avg at 100 yds off the bipod and EoTECH. good enuff for me seems loaded hotter than Wolf no failures after 200 rounds today went thru steel and aluminum plate like butter its the red box wrapped nicely in a paper sheet. nice stuff I want more FYI I usually get 3 inch groups with XM193 off the bench I didnt have the bipod that day so to me the 5-6 inch groups offhand arent bad and still on the silhouette. green fingers and all

FWIW, I have the least amount of experience of anyone that posts here, but I have fail to ejects about 30% of the time with JSC/Barnual. Never had a FTE or FTF with Q3131A. However, my crappy Ruger Mini-14 eats the stuff flawlessly. Flawlessly means 8" groups at 100 yards though, as opposed to about 3" with the good stuff

Don't have alot of experiance with it. Just shot about 350 rds of the 55gr fmj. yesterday. no problems.Really good for cheap ammo. About 21/2" groups @ 100 yds if I do my part. Seems a little weak though. I does function well in My 16" AR. Alot of richoches( think thats how you spell it).Steel jackets like to bounce more than any ammo I've ever fired.

I ran 1k rounds through my armalite M-15A2 20" and RRA LAR-15A2 16" without a hitch. Just some mag related probs, that being they were bad mags anyways. Groups were 2"-4" @100yds. Didn't really matter cause I used'em for shooting steel. As compared to Wolf, I can't tell alot of difference cause I don't use either brand that often. Seemed abit hotter and accurate. I say go for it if you're looking for cheap plinking ammo; something I have a habit of not doing when I probably should.

I bought 500 rounds on sale just before Y2K, I just brought it out recently and have been shooting it in my standard bushmaster 20" hbar. With iron sights at 100 yards I get very acceptable tactical accuracy. Not as good as South African but good enough for me. Figure about 2 inch groups if I shoot from a rest. This is the 55gr stuff.

Shot about 1000 rounds through my RRA M4, and it feels about the same as Wolf. Most definitely loaded lighter than M193, as I mixed up a mag of XM193 and Barnaul. The Barnaul still has the red neck sealant, but I guess it's fine in my rifle which shoots Wolf without complaints also. I got the ammo for a very good price, and would buy more, but the new Wolf Polymer coated stuff sounds like it's the way to go now...

I tried some of there 62 grain fmj in my colt 20" a2 and had about 30% of them stick in the chamber. Accuracy wasn't to bad but i think i'll burn the rest in my mini14 and give up on the commie 223rd.

I have shot about 1200 rounds of this through an armalite 180b, it has a tight chamber and has not been cleaned in a while. recoil is heavier than wolf, and indistinguishable from q3131a. Had one FTF (bolt did not close all the way), but all rounds have fired without a hitch otherwise, only a couple mag related problems (USA ACK). This is by far my favorite blasting ammo. It is half the price of xm193 up here.

I got 7k of 55gr Barnaul from Widener's on a closeout sale last spring. My sons and I have run about 2k of it thru 3 Olympic Arms parts kit guns with no problems. Loads good and fired every time. Just used it for blasting though.

55 gr FMJ in a Colt HBAR 20 in. No problems. Accurate enough for plinking ammo. I will keep using it, as it is about the cheapest I can buy hereabouts that shoots well in my AR.

I've shot 2500+ rds of SMA223FMJ 223 AMMO 55GR FMJ $56.00 / 500rnds from Widener's in the last few months.
No failures, no problems. Excellent plinking ammo.

put about 100 rds of 55gr though my 16" bushmaster dissy. No problems at all. Chrono'd 5 rounds of it, and it varied from 2940 to 2990. I let a round chamber and sit there for 10 minutes to see if i'd have any problems with the laquer sticking, and it ejected fine after i fired it.

Firearm: RRA middie
Approx # rds: 500
Type: 55gr FMJ
Not a hiccough or bobble. Good consistency, good performance, and not as dirty as some U.S. made ammo I've fired. POI is just about exactly the same as with Q3131A, at least at 50 yards through my rifle.
If I could find their stuff in 62gr, I'd buy all of it I could carry.

did about 300 rounds of barnaul in a tactical rifle class i had today. Rifle is a Bushy super light 16" and used cproducts SS mags. No problems at all, this is great ammo if you dont need a high level of accuracy (i was shooting with irons at man sized targets out to 100 yards, and it was accurate enough for that).

I've gone thru a case of their .223 and .40 with zero problems.

DPMS 1:9 14.5"
~800 rounds fired
Barnaul 55gr FMJ from Academy
Overall satisfied with Barnaul. Shoots a little hotter than Wolf and just a tad bit dirtier.
Able to consistently hit turkey-sized plate @ 100yds offhand and 10" steel plate @ 200yds supported with iron sights.
The only problem with Barnaul is occassionally FTE (1 out of about 120 rnds). I think it's due to dirtyness, but Wolf has never had a problem. Could be because Wolf is polymer coated & Barnaul is lacquer coated.

I had issues with the Barnaul/Monarch steel cased .223 regarding tumbling bullets impacting the target sideways @ 25 yards in my 16" POF 1/8 twist upper. When I finish the remaining rounds through my 16" Bushmaster HBAR, I will not purchase any more of the Monarch .223 steel cased variety.
I am going to have to change my vote on the Monarch Steel Cased stuff from Academy. It shot like a dream in my 16" 1/9 twist Bushmaster. No keyholes or anything like that. I started the day off mag dumping just to finish the ammo out, and then I decided to try aimed fire, and was pleasantly surprised at the results!
I think the 1/8 twist on the POF may have had issues with stabilizing the bullet. FWIW, the POF tends to favor heavier grained bullets.
I will use this stuff again because the price is right for plinking with.

RRA midlength 1:8 16" SS barrel
I've fired approx. 1K of the 55 gr. FMJ's through the RRA. One failure to fire out of the entire lot. The primer strike was good, just no boom. No failure to feed, eject, etc. with any magazine that I've tried. I never chronographed or shot it for accuracy. Plinking only.
I will continue to buy it just as long as Academy has it. I'll try the brass cased stuff when I get a chance.

I saw some of this at academy the other and decided to give a try. I ran a 100 rounds through a rra car 15 midlength with no problems whatsover. I am pleased with the ammo and the price

I have run at least 500 rounds of the lacquer coated Monarch through my 6920 with zero problems. Indistinguishable from Wolf for plinking. At least for my purposes. I will continue to use it.

Shot it in a 16" LW SOC. It produced 4" groups at 50 yards. Switched to 45 grain SP Winchester and it produced 1" groups or less. Its 8 MOA ammo. I wont buy anymore unless its for full auto shooting where I just want cheap ammo. And its dirty.

Used about 3K rounds through a surplus M16a1 upper that Kurt's Kustom converted to a dissy. No functioning problems. Stuff stinks. Patterns OK. Just don't bother trying to get a group out of it.

My rifle is an M4gery that I built with great quality parts (or later replaced cheap stuff with great quality parts. Runs 100% with xm 193 and black hills but short strokes almost every shot with monarch. After firing the monarch it reminded me of what everyone says wolf will do to your rifle. It was nasty, I mean NASTY. As bad as it was, I then fired 170 rounds of XM193 through it, and even after one of the mags took a dump into clay (I loaded it anyway) it functioned 100%. Guess my carbine just likes the hot stuff.

500 rounds thru Bushmaster. Shot fine. Used it for plinking, have no idea what size groups, but hit the gongs I pointed it at.

Just ran 100 rounds through my RRA Varmit E4 and only about 60% cycled correctly. Problems with ejection and feeding/cycling. This became extremely annoying.
Also the best I could group with this ammo @100yds was about an 8" circle. Will not buy or use this stuff again. I can buy Remington UMC for about the same price and it cycles great and groups much better.

I burned through my last 2 mags of the stuff in my M16 (DPMS post ban upper) yesterday .
no problems . I've put this stuff through 3 AR's/M16's with no problems . Iwon't buy any more at $3.89 per 20 though. I'll stick to wolf for that kind of money. sucks to as it goes down range just fine (1-7 twist ) and I've shot quite a bit through my ETS .223 suppressor .

The monarch steel cased 55 gr FMJ has been about 80% of what has gone through my Bushmaster 16 inch 1/9. Total rounds fired is around 1000, so that makes it about 800.
Only problems have been one failure to eject of a steel cased round (round stuck in chamber pretty good, rim ripped off by extractor) and one instance of the aforementioned occurring with a brass cased Monarch 55 gr SP (made by PP, I know) fired directly after many of the steel cased.
Accuracy is about 6 moa at 100 yards. Round to round recoil felt very consistent.

1) 14.5" LMT upper, RRA Lower (m4 clone)
2) about 300 rounds
3) 55gr Barnaul Steel case (Labeled Monarch from Academy)
Not one single issue with the ammo. Always has worked perfectly. Usually don't shoot over 50 yards, as I mostly shoot tactical matches. Accuracy is decent enough, no complaints, though I have never shot for group.
Much hotter than Wolf, though slower than M193. Barnaul worked in my M4 clone even when other ammo types would short stroke. Only downside is it isn't 2.86/20 anymore!

i've gone through 1k rounds of 62 gr. sp and just ordered another 1k. Had 1 FTE during a speed session. Figure that it got too hot and melted some lacquer. Had no problems with slow fire off the bench. Accuracy is decent, with some less than 1MOA groups @ 100 yds., if I can do my part.
My rifle is a S&W M&P M15A, 1 in 9 twist, 16 in. barrel.

I don't remember if I've voted in an earlier version of this review or not, so here goes.

I can't count how much Monarch Blue Box .223 I've gone through-most likely at least 1k rounds. Not clean, but nothing is (WWB seems about as dirty). Fair accuracy; good for plinking and such, not long range or bullseye accuracy. Works EVERY time in my AR (RRA Middie).
The only problem with it is that it's too damn expensive at Academy. Nearly $5 a box for STEEL cased, non-reloadable ammunition?
Forgot to mention that it's all been 55gr FMJ that I've seen at Academy, so that's all I've had experience with.

I shot the Academy stuff. I used it previoulsy as blasting ammo for full auto for cheap and it is functional. It is the only ammo I have ever tried and got 8 MOA groups with. Thats right, this ammo shot 8 MOA, consistantly. Other FMJ shot 2 MOA. Wont ever buy it again unless someone needs cheap ammo before a full auto shoot and an Academy is on the way.

I got to try about 100 rds at the Eden MG shoot. This was the 55 gr fmj blue box. It was distinctly more powerful than the Wolf black box I was using. I used it in Colt 11.5 1:7 and Colt 20" 1:12 uppers. All FA, some shot in the evening in mags with tracer reloads. No failures of any kind. Moreover I shot this stuff after I had fired off alot of Wolf poly........no cleaning, just an occasional squirt of CLP on bolt and in bolt gas ports when I start to need to use the forward assist. As has been my experience with the polymer stuff, I could not stick any lacquer cases in the chamber, even when I let one sit chambered after a few mag dumps. I didn't notice anything unusual, cleanup-wise, when I returned home.
Accuracy? Dunno - better than minute of car, anyway.
I'm planning on picking up 10k when my buddy gets more in. I think I'd prefer this stuff to the black box poly. Will run some over a chronograph alongside black box when I get a chance.

1) Ruger Mini-14, Essential Arms AR-15, Olympic arms Ar-15 m4
2) 2500
3)Barnaul steel cased
IMHO, its the best non-brass cased ammunition for your money, I think it performs better than Wolf, achieving head shots on a silouette at a 100 yards every single time with the mini. I also like it because sometimes with the wolf, it is a veryyyy dirty round to load and your hands will be black after. With the Barnaul you have very clean hands left over(but make sure you still wash) In all, buy this over Wolf anyday you can.

Great ammo ,dirty, stays in the black
Frankenstien ar 16"
Brown bear 500rnds
golden bear 200rnds
Barnual box 29rnds

Im still working on a case i purchased several years ago (barnul). Ive never had a dud or failure in 3 different rifles with it. I like it better than wolf - less stinky, slightly better groups and more consistent. Just my 2 cents.

16in stag upper/1 in 9 twist and old a1 20in colt upper/1 in 12 twist; 500 rounds 55 gr barnaul from widener's. i shot 300 rds with no function issues last weekend and 200 rds today with one stuck, unfired cartridge that that had a small blob of steel stuck to the side of the bullet––weird. i had 100 rds of 55gr wolf mc with me today, and i felt that the barnaul was a little hotter and a little tighter on target.

i've run all mentioned above from my colt m4 to all my J&T biulds, bushmaster and cmmg m4gery or rock river, never had any problem with the zinc plated barnaul, a couple fte on 1 kit gun after the rifle was hot and did a 80 round mag dump with a beta c mag that was using the blue box monarch, i feel this stuff is better than wolf imo. ammo prices have forced me to shot russian ammo. the zinc coated barnaul has been great in everything i own.

Ran through 500 rounds of Barnaul 55gr recently:
- Clearly not as accurate as LC XM193. But pretty good for plinking, especially with the price of $198 / 1000 from Widener's.
- Had 1 dud out of 500.

Recently shot some Brown Bear 62 gr. HP through my wife's 16" flat top carbine and my 16" dissipator. No real groups were shot with this ammo.
This was my wife'f first time shooting an AR-15. Her's is equiped with an A1 stock, and a Bushnell Holosight. She was able to keep all of her shots but 3 on a paper plate shooting offhand out to 50yds. She put over 100 rounds through the carbine.
No failures of any type were experienced.
The Dissipator has a heavy barrel and 1.5-4.5x scope. About 30 rounds of the same Brown Bear load were put through this rifle. My wife shot ten of these from the bench with the scope set on 4.5x She kept all rounds inside a 2"x2" square. Most went into a single ragged hole about 3/4 of an inch. There were 3 flyers out of the 10 shots that hit about a half inch higher than the other 7.
The other 20 rounds through the dissipator were fired by me offhand with the scope set on 1.5x as head shots on silhouette targets. No misses, but again, not really fired for groups. They clustered into about 3 inches at 50yds. These were not slow fire but shots taken by holding the rifle at low ready, bringing it to the shoulder and taking one "quick shot" as soon as the cross hairs settled on the head. (roughly 1-1.5 seconds from rifle mount to shot). No failures of any kind.
Also, my wife fired one shot into a one gallon water bottle to impress upon my 4 y/o daughter why she can't touch the guns without mommy or daddy directly supervising her.
Bottle blew apart at 25yds (as expected). The bottle split at several places. single bullet hole in the front label, three holes found on the back side of the jug. The effect was good my daughter had wide eyes as the jug exploded and jumped 3 feet into the air. I think it was a worthwhile demonstration because after shooting paper plates and silhouettes I am sure she had no idea how destructive a gun could be. My wife was equally impressed with the energy her new carbine packs, as well as how much easier it is to hit targets with than her pistol.
My daughter wants a rifle of her own but she is still a bit too small statured and not quite as good a listener as she needs to be to start shooting yet. Even the Cricket has a little too much length of pull for her. I did help her hold a 10/22 and put a few rounds through it. It appears she may be plagued by being right handed and left eye dominant.
Good practice ammo. I would buy more for range practice. Not going to win anny accuracy matches, but definitely good enough for practical shooting drills.

I use the "Monarch" blue box almost exclusively (sometimes I use the green) because it's practical. For the 8moa folks, I don't know what to tell ya. I haven't shot a carbine match with the stuff yet, but I used ONLY monarch in a few IDPA matches with a Glock 19 and never had one single issue. Any faults were "operator error".
I have used it EXTENSIVELY at the range while plinking, and it's worked fine. I had alot of feeding issues, but it was attributed to my rifle having a (found out later) broken firing pin and bad bolt. It worked flawlessly on the other two AR's... over 3000rds on a beautiful Sunday afternoon last month. Try to afford that with ANY ammo. It wasn't cheap, but compare that to xm193 (which is what many people have done here, performance-wise).
As far as accuracy, we were hitting steel plates, so I couldn't give you an estimate. However, sighting it in was easy enough. I would imagine getting fist-sized groups at 100m with an EoTech or irons.
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Posted: 3/26/2010 12:05:10 PM EDT
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I use the Monarch blue box, green steel cased ammo - 55grn fmj. I have had no problems. It has enough power to eject smartly from my Bushmaster 14.5 barreled M4 upper with a standard carbine buffer. The rifle has a chrome lined bore and chamber and is chambered in 5.56mm. I do not run a black O ring or upgraded extractor (or ejector?) spring. It has always locked the bolt open on the last round. Accuracy off the bench with red dot or irons is 3 inches at 100 yards. I have done 1.5 inches with the irons with XM193, though. It does run dirtier than the domestic ammos I have tried, like Q3131, XM193, M855, Remington UMC, etc. From my experience the Monarch runs a little cleaner than Wolf. I clean my M4 around every 500 rounds.

I just fired 500 rounds of Barnaul 55gr stuff through my LMT M4 today. Great ammo, absolutely no problems of any kind. Grouped about 2.5 MOA with my TA33-8, perfect for CQB training. Given the price, I think I will be buying a case of it very soon!
ETA: Noticed this includes Brown Bear. I have fired about 100 rounds out of said LMT and had one issue with Brown Bear. The issue was a torn rim upon extraction from a very dirty weapon. Not a big issue, one light tap with a cleaning rod and it came loose. Just goes to show that even though it's great cheap ammo, and I'm a big fan, it's not something you should be trusting your life to.

spent about 200 rounds of it today and had 3 case heads ripped off. it grouped well and I was happy until this occured. wont be buying again though cause it's really annoying to clear.

I shot 600+ rounds of Blue Box Monarch 55gr. FMJ through my Stag "16. had 2 primers blow out and jam the mess out of my lower. 1 round somehow got jammed up in between the BCG and the roof of the upper reciever. and 1 round got stuck in the chamber. but i love the price of it so ill continue to shoot it.

I ran into a deal I couldn't pass up on 500 rounds of Brown Bear 55gr FMJ a while back. I have used most of it up now as occasional plinking/get the gun on paper ammo. I have had no problems with it in the following firearms.
-Oly lower with franken C7 upper with chrome lined 11.5" Wilson bbl with 5.5" hider. -120 rounds
-Spikes Lower with 16" chrome lined bbl on CMT/Stag A2 upper. - 90 rounds
-Doublestar/J&T Marksman upper on Superior Lower. 20" Stainless Wilson 1:8 NM barrel- 20 rounds to get on paper and dialed in at 25yds and confirm paper hits at 100yds
-Anvil lower CMT flattop upper with Del-ton M4 chrome lined barrel 1:7 twist. - 175 rounds.
The 11.5" and 16" 1:9 twist barrels did really well with this round out to 100yds. Averageing 2.75 -3" groups when benched using open sights and EOTech. Most firing was offhand, and there was no trouble making COM hits on silhouettes out to 100yds with either of these carbines.
The 20" match barrel would stack these ontop of each other at 25 yds. I was still making adjustments at 100yds, best three shot cluster (for what its worth) was just over an inch.
The M4 1:7 twist barrel feeds the stuff as well as any other but out at 100yds off of the bench this load groups at best around 3.5 inches, and on out to 5" groups.
Groups were usually 10 shot grups except where noted. I already posted other results from 2 other carbines as well with Brown Bear ammo but that was 62 Gr Hp.

My experience is similar to that of crunchy, above. However I was using Barnul 55gr fmj
Rifles used in were - 20in RRA upper and 16in RRA upper. Only 1 or two FTF's out of aprox 500 rounds fired over about 3 trips to the range. With my 20in AR and using this barnul ammo, I could regularly get under 2in groups @ 100yds and hit 5 in steel plates at 300 yds.
I love Barnul and brown bear. Its all I will buy in the various steel cased ammo, for either the AR or AK.

Rifle: CMMG Upper Group, 16 inch barrel, 1:7 twist, 5.56NATO chamber, Semi-Auto carrier, carbine gas system, standard weight buffer, PMags.
170 rounds fired.
Monarch, Blue Box. Steel cased, lacquer coated. 55 grain. .223Remington From Academy.
No failures at all from the rifle. The rifle was running completely dry (as a test, not standard procedure) and was brand new, no break in period.
Zero failures of any kind. No failures to fire, no failures to feed, no stove pipes, to extraction or ejection problems. It functioned flawlessly. Did not seem nearly as dirty as some Russian ammo is. Very pleased.

I've been using Monarch 55 grain .223 ammo in both my RRA Entry tactical and my CMMG upper/Spikes Tactical lower for almost two years with one FTE and no FTF to report. The FTE was probably related to the fact that I intentionally did not clean the CMMG I built just to see how robust it was and that FTE was what prompted me to finally clean the rifle after I had put close to 1000 rounds through it without cleaning or lubing it. I'd estimate that I have fired well over 2000 rounds of the Monarch through both rifles.

My local gun shop had Brown Bear 62 grain boat tail on sale $29 for 100 rds. I took 100 rds out to the range. I had no problem with the ammo. It was accurate, no issues with FTF or anything else.
I used it in my Stag model 2 (post ban)
I would/will absolutely buy it again.

62gr SP and HP. Had some extraction issues, but upgraded the spring and haven't had an issue since, even when the rifle is SMOKIN.

Shot some (about 3 mags, 90 rounds) in a RRA Entry Tac. No problems, new rifle too, Boresnaked and CLP and started shooting.
Blue box Monarch.
Shot 300+ rounds of it today (12/6/08). Nothing wrong to report.

Ordered 1000 rounds of Barnaul 55-grain SP from Wideners for $244 plus shipping. I couldn't go wrong with this...if it worked fine, I had ammo for a great price, if not, I could easily sell it for what I paid for it.
Fired approximately 100 rounds so far in a 16" RRA carbine with 1.5-5x Leupold scope - function was flawless, accuracy was marginal. 2-3" five-shot groups at 50 yards - this rifle will usually do 1/2" five-shot groups at that range with high-quality ammo. Seems like it is loaded pretty hot.
Definitely keeping the remaining rounds, though I doubt I'll order more right away. Fine for plinking, practice, or training, but no substitute for the brass-cased stuff for serious work.

ive shot around 500 rds of this through my m4, it seems to leave a bigger mess in the gun than any other ammo i have tryed, i live in a very humid area so anything i save in ammo costs goes to helping me feel better by spending more time and supplies cleaning it, havent given up on the rounds yet just gana experiment with others to see what shoots cleanest and fits my shooting needs the best,

16" RRA A4 middie. Shot about 180 rounds today.
Brown Bear 55gr FMJ.
1 blown primer in first mag. Several light primer strikes. Re-fed and they all went bang. Not sure on accuracy, just plinking to try out today.
Already shot 120 rnds of XM193 previously and not 1 problem. I'm thinking these may have harder primers?

Have put about 300 rounds of Brown Bear thru my M&P15T without a single issue. Had several short strokes with Wolf thru the same gun, but perfect so far with the Brown Bear. Pretty dirty, but you've gotta expect that with the Russain stuff. Accuracy is decent and it cycles perfectly in my gun, I'll definitely buy more for range use when I see a good deal.

I shot 140 rounds over the weekeand and had no problems at all
I used a BCM upper on a Stag lower with P mags.

I tried out 100 rds each of 62 BTHP Golden and Brown Bear yesterday. Both rounds were fired through a Colt 6920, a 14.5" LMT, and my match gun which is a 14.5" LMT w/ FSC556 comp on a lower w/a fixed A1 stock and JP reduced power trigger springs. The carbines have H2 buffers. None of the guns were clean and were run wet.
I fired 5 rd groups from 100 yards with each round/gun. Both rounds fired to the same POA/POI and grouped 3-4 inches. The Colt is zeroed with 75 TAP, the LMTs are both zeroed with XM-193. The Bear ammo was close enough for practice.
I then fired 1-5 drills to get the guns hot fast. I fired the drills back to back, 2 mags through each gun. I had one double feed (mag issue) and 1 light primer strike FTF with the Brown Bear. Both malfunctions happened while shooting the match LMT with comp, rifle buffer, and JP springs (probable cause of the light primer strike). This round was ejected, inspected, placed back in rotation and fired the second time. No issues with the Golden Bear.
I didn't notice any difference between the ammo other than the medium used to coat the steel case and the red primer sealant used on the Brown Bear. The ammo "felt" like 5.56 and was much more powerful, cleaner, and accurate than Wolf.
At 25 cents a round Brown Bear will be replacing XM-193 as my practice/3-gun ammo.

I had three FTEs with Brown Bear after shooting about 20 rounds. The first or second round would fire and then the empty casing would remain in the chamber. After clearing the stuck cases the subsequent rounds would function OK. This problem happens on the first few rounds after changing mags.
Gun is a 16" mid-length Del-Ton with 300 rounds down the pipe in total. Fired about 150 rounds the day of these malfunctions so the weapon was not too dirty.

Last June my best friend and I put 2K of 55gr Brown Bear through a 2-day carbine class using MSAR STG-556's. Only at the very end of the 2nd day did one of the STG's start to experience stuck casings (the other STG was 100% w/Brown Bear for the entire class).

Have fired ~500 rounds through a mil surp M16a1 upper without issue. Just be forewarned that it does smell like burnt piss when firing.

Just shot 90rds of 62 grain HP's through my MSAR. 100% and grouped about 1" at 50yds. Damn right I'll keep using it

A friend and I recently burned through 500 rounds of Monarch steel-case .223.
We used three ARs: A 16" barrel M&P-15T, a 16" mid-length CMMG, and a 16" barrel M&P-15X that was brand new. We used a mix of non-Rev. M PMags, NHMTG mags, and some "parts" mags I assembled from various sources and was testing for function. All three rifles were clean and well-lubed before use.
We encountered not a single malfunction, ammo or magazine. Each rifle functioned 100%, including the brand-new M&P-15X. This was in spite of using the parts/"range only" mags for much of the shooting session. The Monarch ammo seemed to be hotter than Wolf or PMC, but not quite as hot as M193.
Just for grins and giggles (and because I was also sighting in two of the three guns), we mixed in several hundred rounds of brass-cased ammo throughout the shooting session. This included Win. USA Q3131, Win. Ranger M855, Prvi M193, and Prvi 62-grain .223. None of the three rifles experienced any extraction problems switching between steel- and brass-cased ammo, as has often been noted on this site.
The Monarch is particularly stinky when fired, and also produced quite a bit of smoke coming from the upper receiver during rapid-fire strings. It is also dirty, but I didn't have any special problems cleaning the rifles afterward.
I did not record any velocities; not did I record accuracy. My friend was able to hit an 8" round steel plate at 200 yards with regular consistency using iron sights. (He is also an Army SDM; my eyes aren't good enough to do accuracy testing without benefit of a magnified optic.)
Based on my experiences with this ammo, I will definitely be stocking up on it. I originally bought a 500-round case during the Black Friday sale ($3.99/box) on a whim. I'd had decent luck with Brown Bear and thought I'd give the Monarch a try. I'm very happy with it for plinking ammo. I'm hoping to do a little more shooting with this ammo to determine if it's reliable enough in my guns for training/class use.

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Posted: 4/15/2010 12:27:51 AM EDT
brown bear 62 gr hp in a 1/7 20" Bushie. No problems noted, have put only around 500 rnds down range with it. Compared to laquer coated wolf 55gr, it shoots cleaner. Also unlike the Wolf, I have yet to have a stuck casing.
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Posted: 6/6/2010 8:04:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2010 9:05:31 AM EDT by timpryor]
Fired 1500 rounds of Monarch Red Box 55grn out of LMT M4, and a Doublestar barreled 11.5 SBR no problems
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Posted: 6/25/2010 3:30:43 AM EDT
I have experienced no problems what so ever. No laquer build up and no failures of any kind. It actually performed much better than the 55gr Federal stuff from Wal-Mart.

1) Firearm used in: Spike's ST-15 carbine
2) Approximate number of rounds fired.: 500
3) Ammunition type: Brown Bear 62gr HP

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Posted: 6/25/2010 3:32:16 PM EDT
Fired about 500 rounds of Monarch red box out of my Bushmaster without any problems. I did not find the ammo to be any dirtier than any other steel cased ammo that I have used. Would buy again if the price is right.
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Posted: 6/25/2010 4:35:26 PM EDT
Brown Bear 62gr HP has perfomed flawlessly for practice ammo. Not a single FTE/FTF or extractor/case anomolies of any kind. Cycles my AR reliably.

1) Firearm: RRA Elite Comp - 5.56 NATO Chamber - Chrome Lined - 1:9 Twist
2) Approx. rounds fired - 500 - 600

Predominantly on targets at or less than 25 yards, with one session on a 100 yard range which grouped acceptably at approx. 2.5 MOA.
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Posted: 11/13/2010 2:09:24 PM EDT
Just bought 1k of Brown Bear 55gr FMJ.
Took 100 rounds out, used 15 for accuracy. Was pleased, shooting from a sitting unsupported at 50 yards could put them in the 10 ring.
Then I took the remaining and did mag dumps to see if it would feed, it did just fine.

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Posted: 11/13/2010 2:34:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/13/2010 2:42:37 PM EDT by InfiniteGrim]
My brother has run his Spike's 16" midlength only with brown bear 62gr. He hasnt had a problem yet.

Left is brother's rifle with brown bear, right is my rifle with pulled 55gr reloads.

Dont take these targets as pure fact as I could bearly see those black dots at 50 yards.
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Posted: 7/31/2011 1:59:24 PM EDT
Fired 4000 rounds of Silver/Brown Bear ammo in Magpul Carbine 1 & 2 over a 6 days period. Had one round FTE due to a ripped lip and one of my 2 rifles failed to lock back on an empty mag a couple of times. This may or may not have been ammo related. The second gun functioned perfectly the last 3 days thru over 2K of the Bear ammo. The only maintenance done was a general wipedown of the grit in the upper and magwell and a good dose of Slip2000 lube each night. The chamber was extremely dirty at the end of the class, but the gun continued to perform 100% thru some pretty heavy shooting with a blazing hot chamber. Post with pictures is here...

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Posted: 3/18/2012 2:48:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2012 2:48:18 AM EDT by Hawaiianbro10]
1. Rock River Arms Elite Operator 2

2. 300 rounds with no issues at all. I fired 300 rounds of other types of ammo first to get the gun dirty etc.
300 rounds I fired 100 rounds with 10 seconds between rounds first, 2nd 100 rounds I fired fast with 2-3 seconds between each round fired, 3rd 100 rounds I fired at random from slow to fast.
All rounds where fired out of pmags

3.Brown Bear 223 55grain FMJ
Didnt shoot for accuracy just random fun at the range.

Ive just purchased more Brown Bear ammo as well be eventually testing Wolf Military classic 55grain HP ammo.
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Posted: 3/18/2012 11:25:47 AM EDT
Shot 200 rounds of Brown Bear 223 55gr FMJ through my DPMS Lite 16 the other day with zero issues.
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Posted: 3/21/2012 12:14:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2012 12:15:47 AM EDT by Krink]
2000+rds .55gr FMJ brown bear through a 16" colt chrome lined/5.56 chamber barrel NO issues

1500+rds 62gr FMJ brown bear though a 14.5 colt M4 barrel/Colt A2 barrel NO issues

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Posted: 3/24/2012 12:38:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2012 12:51:04 PM EDT by wee]
I have shot only few hundered rounds of Barnaul 62gr so far, and I haven't have any problems yet. I know it's too early to make any assumptions about the reliability of the ammo with my AR.

But one thing what I think about the Barnaul as manufacturer, is that they seem to be honest operator in the business. Their ammo is not the most accurate, and the manufacturer doesn't deny it. If you take a look at the Barnaul ammunition website, they clearly indicate that their 62gr load has a bullet dispersion of 10cm/3.93" from 100 meters.


You get what you pay for and they don't deny it.

At least I've been able to achieve constantly about 9 to 11cm 10 shot groups with the polymer coated 62gr ammo. No better and no worse, when I have done part well behind the butt. I think I can say that the manufacturer can keep their promise.

Vertical POI from 100 meters is about the same as with S&B 55gr FMJ, but the horizontal POI moves little right. Same effect happens with 69gr ammo, which POI also moves to the right when compared to 55gr ammo. As before, the barrel is S&W MP15 17".223remington with 1/9" rifling.

EDIT: And by the way, took the ballistic data, velocities from Barnaul website and added them to the JBM ballistics coeffient calculator. It calculated 0.265 G1 BC to the Barnaul 62gr FMJBT bullet. Could be right if compared to the lenght of the bullet (21.6mm / 0.85").
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Posted: 3/25/2012 5:37:34 AM EDT
I've run over 500 rounds of Brown Bear 55gr FMJ through my LMT Mk18 mod 0 clone. Not a single problem I'd attribute to the ammo. I had one issue with this ammo and a Surefire 60 round magazine, but that was the magazine, not the ammo.
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Posted: 1/2/2013 3:18:30 PM EDT
What do you think?
Looking at a case of this right now, but have not seen color of boxes inside?

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Posted: 1/3/2013 1:21:19 PM EDT
If you can get a case of it at a reasonable price, and you don't mind running steel case stuff, then get it. I haven't had any problems with mine now in over 1000 rounds, except for one problem feeding in a Surefire 60rd mag.
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Posted: 7/3/2014 2:42:06 AM EDT
I just started using the Red boxed, Monarch, Steel cased 55gr .223 from Academy and I've shot 2 boxes of it so far in my S&W M&P15X 5.56 with a 1:9 twist. Not a singal malfunction and very accurate as well.
Just a disclaimer, the M&P has fed EVERYTHING I've tried accurately.
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Posted: 7/3/2014 2:43:40 AM EDT
I just started using the Red boxed, Monarch, Steel cased 55gr .223 from Academy and I've shot 2 boxes of it so far in my S&W M&P15X 5.56 with a 1:9 twist. Not a singal malfunction and very accurate as well.
Just a disclaimer, the M&P has fed EVERYTHING I've tried accurately.
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Posted: 7/3/2014 12:25:12 PM EDT
Good stuff, can make hits out to 400 on a 12x18 steel plate with ease.
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Posted: 7/3/2014 3:44:13 PM EDT
I ran some rounds through a Chrono several months ago. 20 inch SS Wylde chamber. These are the velocities that showed

1 - 3065
2 - 3137
3 - 3182
4 - 3159
5 - 3174

Much hotter than I had thought this ammo would be loaded.

Normally I don't shoot steel through this barrel but at the time I thought "Oh wth!"
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Posted: 5/29/2016 9:11:53 AM EDT
No issues. Only a few hundred fired but great range ammo
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Posted: 5/31/2016 10:34:33 AM EDT
62grn Soft Point Brown Bear 4-5000 rounds out of a Franken AR. 500 to 750 out of another Franken AR (wife's). Both 14.5 Inch barrels 1/7 twist chrome lined, one with a Phantom Flash Hider the other with a BCM A2X hider.

I initially had issues with my AR but traced them to a weak hammer spring causing light primer strikes. The wife's AR has used it since day one with no issues so far. Haven't done any real accuracy testing with it but it will hit a 66% IPSC steel target at 300 yards regularly.